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We house i' th' rock, yet use thee not so hardly
As prouder livers do.
Guid. Hail, Heav'n!
Aro. Hail, Heav'n!
Bel. Now for our mountain sport. Up to yond' hill, Your legs are young. I'll tread these flats. Consider, When you above perceive me like a crow, That it is place which lessens and sets off; And you may then revolve what tales I told you Of courts, of princes, of the tricks in war; That service is not service, so being done, But being so allow'd. To apprehend thus, Draws us a profit from all things we see ; And often to our comfort shall we find The sharded beetle in a safer hold, Than is the full wing'd eagle. Oh, this life Is nobler than attending for a check: Richer than doing nothing for a bauble; Prouder than rustling in unpaid for siik.
Such gain the cap of him, that makes them fine,
Yet keeps his book uncross'd :-no life to ours.
Guid. Out of your proof you speak; we, poor, unfledg'd,
Have never wing'd from view o' th' nest; nor know
What air's from home. Haply this life is best,
If quiet life is best; sweeter to you,
That have a sharper known; well corresponding
With your stiff but unto us, it is
A cell of ign'rance; travelling abed;
A prison for a debtor that not dares.
To stride a limit.
Aro. What should we speak of,
When we are old as you? When we shall hear
The rain and wind beat dark December? how,
In this our pinching cave, shall we discourse
The freezing hours away? We have seen nothing;
We're beastly; subtle as the fox for prey,
Like warlike as the wolf, for what we eat,
Our valour is to chase what flies: our cage
We make a choir, as doth the prison'd bird,
And sing out bondage freely.
Did you but know the city's usuries,
And felt them knowingly; the art o' th' court,
As hard to leave, as keep; whose top to climb,
Is certain falling; or so slipp'ry, that
The fear's as bad as falling; the toil of war;
A pain that only seems to seek out danger
I' th' name of fame and honour; which dies i' th' search, And hath as oft a sland'rous epitaph,
As record of fair act; nay, many times,
Doth ill deserve by doing well; what's worse,
Must curt'sy at the censure.-Oh, boys, this story
The world might read in me: my body's mark'd
With Roman swords; and my report was once
First with the best of note. Cymbeline lov'd me
And when a soldier was the theme, my name
Was not far off: then was I as a tree,
Whose boughs did bend with fruit. But in one night,
A storm, or robb'ry, call it what you will,
Shook down my mellow hangings, nay my leaves;
And left me bare to weather.
Guid. Uncertain favour!
Bel. My fault being nothing, as I have told you oft,
But that two villains (whose false oaths prevail'd
Before my perfect honour) swore to Cymbeline,
I was confed'rate with the Romans: so
Follow'd my banishment: and, these twenty years,
This rock and these demesnes have been my world;
Where I have liv'd at honest freedom, paid
More pious debts to Heav'n, than in all
The fore-end of my time-But, up to th' mountains!
This is not hunter's language; he that strikes
The ven'son first shall be the lord o' th' feast;
To him the other two shall minister,
And we will fear no poison, which attends
In place of greater state.
I'll meet you in the vallies.
Jub. SYPHAX, I joy to meet thee thus alone.
I have observ'd of late thy looks are fall'n,
O'ercast with gloomy cares and discontent;
Then tell me, Syphax, I conjure thee, tell me,
What are the thoughts that knit thy brow in frowns,
And turn thine eyes thus coldly on thy prince?
Syph. Tis not my talent to conceal my thoughts,
Or carry smiles and sunshine in my face,
When discontent sits heavy at my heart:
I have not yet so much the Roman in me.
Jub. Why dost thou cast out such ungen'rous terms Against the lords and sov'reigns of the world? Dost thou not see mankind fall down before them, And own the force of their superior virtue ?
Is there a nation in the wilds of Afric,
Amidst our barren rocks and burning sands,
That does not tremble at the Roman name?
Syph. Gods! where's the worth that sets this people up Above your own Numidia's tawny sons?
Do they with tougher sinews bend the bow?
Or flies the jav❜lin swifter to it's mark,
Launch'd from the vigour of a Roman arm?
Who like our active African instructs
The fi'ry steed, and trains him to his hand?
Or guides in troops th' embattled elephant
Laden with war These, these are arts, my prince,
In which your Zama does not stoop to Rome.
Jub. These are all virtues of a meaner rank,
Perfections that are plac'd in bones and nerves.
A Roman soul is bent on higher views :
To civilize the rude unpolish'd world;
To lay it under the restraint of laws;
To make man mild, and sociable to man;
To cultivate the wild licentious savage
With wisdom, discipline, and lib'ral arts,
Th' embellishments of life: virtues like these
Make human nature shine, reform the soul,
And break our fierce barbarians into men.
Syph. Patience, just Heav'ns!-Excuse an old man's warmth,
What are these wondrous civilizing arts,
This Roman polish, and this smooth behaviour,
That render man thus tractable and tame?
Are they not only to disguise our passions,
To set our looks at variance with our thoughts,
To check the starts and sallies of the soul,
And break off all it's commerce with the tongue?
In short, to change us into other creatures,
Than what our nature and the gods design'd us?
Jub. To strike thee dumb: turn up thy eyes to Cato!
There may'st thou see to what a godlike height
The Roman virtues lift up mortal man,
While good, and just, and anxious for his friends,
He's still severely bent against himself;
Renouncing sleep, and rest, and food, and ease,
He strives with thirst and hunger, toil and heat:
And when his fortune sets before him all
The pomps and pleasures that his soul can wish,
His rigid virtue will accept of none.
Syph. Believe me, prince, there's not an African,
That traverses our vast Numidian deserts
In quest of prey, and lives upon his bow,
But better practises these boasted virtues.
Coarse are his meals, the fortune of the chase;
Amidst the running stream he slakes his thirst,
Toils all the day, and at the approach of night
On the first friendly bank he throws him down,
Or rests his head upon a rock till morn;
Then rises fresh, pursues his wonted game,
And if the foll'wing day he chance to find
A new repast, or an untasted spring,
Blesses his stars, and thinks it luxury.
Jub. Thy prejudices, Syphax, wont discern
What virtues grow from ignorance and choice,
Or how the hero differs from the brute.
But grant that others could with equal glory
Look down on pleasures, and the baits of sense;
Where shall we find the man that bears affliction,
Great and majestic in his griefs, like Cato?
Heav'ns! with what strength, what steadiness of mind, He triumphs in the midst of all his suff'rings!
How does he rise against a load of woes,
And thank the gods that threw the weight upon him!
Syph. "Tis pride, rank pride, and haughtiness of soul:
I think the Romans call it stoicism.
Had not your royal father thought so highly
Of Roman virtue, and of Cato's cause,
He had not fall'n by a slave's hand, inglorious;
Nor would his slaughter'd army now have lain
On Afric's sands, disfigur'd. with their wounds,
To gorge the wolves and vultures of Numidia.
Jub. Why dost thou call my sorrows up afresh ?
My father's name brings tears into mine eyes.
Syph. O, that you'd profit by your father's ills!
Jub. What would'st thou have me do?
Jub. Syphax, I should be more than twice an orphan By such a loss.
Syph. Ay, there's the tie that binds you!
You long to call him father. Marcia's charms
Work in your heart unseen, and plead for Cato.
No wonder you are deaf to all I say.
Jub. Syphax, your zeal becomes importunate;
I've hitherto permitted it to rave,
And talk at large; but learn to keep it in,
Lest it should take more freedom than I'll give it.
Syph. Sir, your great father never us'd me thus:
Alas! he's dead! but can you e'er forget
The tender sorrows, and the pangs of nature,
The fond embraces, and repeated blessings,
Which you drew from him in your last farewell?
Still must I cherish the dear sad remembrance,
At once to torture and to please my soul.
The good old king at parting wrung my hand,
(His eyes brimful of tears), then sighing, cried,
Prithee be careful of my son!-His grief
Swell'd up so high, he could not utter more.
Jub. Alas! the story melts away my soul!
That best of fathers! how shall I discharge
The gratitude and duty which I owe him?